Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 21, 2013

Representative Walter B. Jones, a North Carolina Republican, is attacking a grant by the National Endowment for the Humanities to Craven Community College, in North Carolina. The grant is quite modest -- 25 books and a DVD -- but Jones objects to the subject matter. The materials are about Muslim cultures (and similar grants are being given to other colleges for their libraries). In a statement, Jones said: "It is appalling to me that a federal agency like NEH is wasting taxpayer money on programs like this. It makes zero sense for the U.S. government to borrow money from China in order to promote the culture of Islamic civilizations." (The grant announcement does not state that it is "promoting" Islamic cultures, only encouraging more understanding of them.)

Jones also called for the community college to assure "balance" if it accepts the grant by adding materials on "Christianity and America’s rich Judeo-Christian heritage." The Craven-Pamlico Christian Coalition then issued a statement that it "would be pleased to provide a series of materials about the history of Christianity to the Craven Community College. However, in light of the government’s role in keeping God out of the public square and the obstacles that Christians face when it comes to prayer and the ability to publicly proclaim our faith, it just seems more than odd that the federal government will provide a package of 'Muslim Journeys' to a number of colleges nationwide. It’s even more perplexing knowing the fiscal problems facing our nation."

A local newspaper, The New Bern Sun Journal, ran an editorial stating that Jones was being unfair in his criticism of the grant. "The materials funded by the NEH grant are intended to teach about Islamic culture, something that would be useful in a community where many residents find themselves deployed to Islamic nations."

January 21, 2013

The retirement package for John Sperling, the recently retired founder of the Apollo Group (parent company of the University of Phoenix) "likely won’t do the company any favors on the PR front," The Wall Street Journal reported. Sperling will receive $5 million in a "special retirement bonus," an annuity of $70,833.33 a month, ownership of two Apollo vehicles he used while he was chairman and "reasonable out-of-pocket” medical- and dental-care coverage.

January 21, 2013

A group of students and a former dean filed a complaint last week with the Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, alleging that the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated a series of federal laws protecting the rights of sexual assault survivors, The Huffington Post and The Daily Tar Heel student newspaper reported. Melinda Manning, the former associate dean of students who reportedly resigned over the institution's handling of sexual assault cases, said the individuals who run the campus judicial system did not receive adequate training for the job and mistreated victims, asking inappropriate questions and blaming victims. The complaint says upper-level administrators pressured Manning to underreport sexual assault statistics to the federal government and discouraged her from approaching Chancellor Holden Thorp about her concerns.

The complaint, filed on behalf of 64 assault victims, says UNC violated the Campus Sexual Assault Victims' Bill of Rights, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

January 18, 2013

The Council of Canadian Law Deans is opposing a proposal by Trinity Western University, an evangelical institution, to start a law school, The Vancouver Sun reported. The deans say that the accreditor for law schools in Canada should block the new institution from opening because Trinity Western's policies bar gay relationships by students or employees. Trinity Western officials said that they are entitled to hold their religious views, and also to start a law school.

 

January 18, 2013

Michael Barera has been named Wikipedian in residence at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library at the University of Michigan -- the first such position at a presidential library. Barera will focus on expanding the availability of information about President Ford and the library's holdings on Wikipedia through the Gerald Ford WikiProject.

 

January 18, 2013

Governors should work together to undertake a review of states' policies on online education, given the fast-changing state of the industry and the cost to states and institutions of regulation, the National Governors Association said in a policy brief Thursday. The paper lays out the landscape of state regulation of distance learning and suggests areas that a study might examine, including whether states would consider joining a multistate compact or reciprocity agreement for authorizing online programs.

 

 

January 18, 2013

The American Medical Association on Thursday announced a $10 million, five-year campaign to encourage medical schools to rethink how they educate future doctors. The medical group says it hopes its grants will spur new methods for teaching or assessing competencies for medical students, improving understanding of the health care system in medical training, and strengthening the professionalism of future doctors.

January 18, 2013

A group of senior faculty members are complaining that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is putting business interests ahead of the needs of graduate students and other campus constituents in a zoning proposal for expansion on and around its campus, The Boston Globe reported. The newspaper cited the faculty members' complaints that the proposal by the MIT Investment Management Company would prioritize commercial development over education and research purposes and pays too little attention to the pressing lack of affordable housing for graduate students.

January 18, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Colleen Seifert of the University of Michigan explains why it’s sometimes hard to abandon an idea even when you know it to be false. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 18, 2013

Stevens-Henager College, which has multiple campuses in Idaho and Utah, has become the latest for-profit postsecondary institution to change its tax status: The Idaho Statesman reports that the institution became a nonprofit as of Jan. 1. The college's chief executive, Eric Juhlin, told the newspaper the change would allow the college to accept tax-deductible donations for its scholarship programs scholarship programs and accept donated equipment, among other things. Keiser University changed its tax status in 2011.

Pages

Back to Top